A year later, Olympic displaced are left to rebuild lives

Photo: Liliana Michelena

Photo: Liliana Michelena

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — More than 70,000 people were displaced to make way for last year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Today some are satisfied in their new houses. Others had to start over and are struggling, bitter at the pressure from city officials and real estate speculators to relocate.

It will take years, maybe decades, to understand the impact the Olympics had on Rio. It’s the same for those who were forced to move from long-time, but often modest homes.

The mandatory relocation experience isn’t unique to Rio. London faced the same issue, as did Beijing before it. But Rio’s poverty and vast inequality helped draw attention to the actions of the city and Olympic organizers.

Former mayor Eduardo Paes was often credited by the International Olympic Committee as the moving force behind the event. Paes is currently being investigated for allegedly accepting at least 15 million reals ($5 million) in payments to facilitate construction projects tied to the games.

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